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Subject: opinions on best sci-fi/fantasy/war based miniatures game rss

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Hugh G. Rection
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Re: opinions on best sci-fi/fantasy/war based miniatures gam
Chain Reaction 2.0: Fully Loaded (see also the 1st Edition for some pics Chain Reaction)

or, to add a zombie flair to the game, including being able to play solo:

All Things Zombie

Both of these will satisfy conditions a - g, although d is pretty much up to you.

You have to order the rule books from the Two Hour Wargames website, as I have not seen then anywhere else, except once on eBay, where I got my copy of ATZ.
 
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Phillip Heaton
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Re: opinions on best sci-fi/fantasy/war based miniatures gam
You might try Hordes of the Things. It is a simple game, built around the DBA rule set. It has (unofficial) mods of the basic game to cover everything from really ancient combat (dinosaurs?!?) to Sci-Fi.
 
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Erik Nicely
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For a fantasy game matching your criteria I would recommend Confrontation. Lower number of units, your supporting troops are as important as your heroes.

For science fiction I would go with Rezolution: A Dark Tomorrow. Some really good rules with cyberpunk and animie influences. Take a brawler or shooter force, they can both win games.
 
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David Rauscher
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Games Workshop gets its knocks with the high prices and average ruleset, but a lot of people speak highly of their skirmish offshoots, most particularly Mordheim.

While no longer available in original box form (as far as I know), you don't need a huge number of GW's miniatures to get involved. I imagine you could get everything in place for $100 or so by purchasing a box of Empire Free Company and a box of zombies and Skaven (the "living rulebook" is available for free on-line). You'd then only be missing the scenary, which shouldn't be too hard to put together with a little time.

The miniatures are of highest quality, and the plastic boxes are customizable so you can create a variety of different characters for your skirmish force (typically around 10-15 models). They can progress in quality over time, too. A variety of scenarios gives it a high replayability, too.
 
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R S
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/puts on protective gear

I'll go against the grain and recommend and of Wizards CMGs (Star Wars, Dungeons and Dragons, Axis & Allies, Dreamblade). The main drawback for most people is the collectible factor but if you can get past that, the rules are fun and simple.

You can get lots of common/uncommon minis online and make challenging, fun squads to battle. You don't NEED rares to win a game or have fun. If you were competing in tournaments I would recommend some rares but if this is for home use, these games are cheap if you buy commons/uncommons, and are lots of fun.
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tom mclain
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For my money, Space Hulk first edition and Betrayl at House on the Hill are my absolute favorites in my collection for the moment. However, two of my classic fav's are still Risk and Stratego-they are what drew me into this newfound gaming addiction to begin with.
 
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R S
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Adding some more info:

Games Like Runebound/Descent/Doom might fit many of your needs as well.
 
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dave boulton
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the biox set of mordheim is still avaliable on the GW specialist games sight, also necromunda which is a sci-fi version, although mordheim has more official(ish) support they are both good games, mordheim is more about mellee and necromunda more about shooting

http://uk.games-workshop.com/storefront/store.uk?do=List_Mod...
 
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Dave J
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I'd agree with that. Necromunda and Mordheim are both great games, you can check out the Rulebooks online at the GW website.
 
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Mike zebrowski
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My standard advice is to find a local group that you like and play what they play. Miniature gaming is an expensive hobby, in both cash and time. Unlike RPGs and boardgames, each player is expected to bring his own battle force to the table. If nobody else in your area plays the game that you pick, you will either have to build multiple forces (more time and money) or be very lonely on game day.

Another benefit of finding a group is that they will teach you the rules. Most miniature games are poorly written and difficult to understand. Two Hour Wargames and the DBA/DBM/HoTTs line are examples of popular miniature games that are really difficult to learn on your own.

If you are determined to be the forge ahead and find a group later, there are several options.

The first thing to realize is that the vast majority of miniatures and rule sets are not tied together. There are hundreds of different rules sets covering dozens of different types of conflicts that are not supported by an official line of miniatures.

The best example of this is historical miniatures.

If you build a World War II German tank company, it doesn't matter if you use Blitzkrieg Commander, Flames of War, Tactical Assualt, Nuts!, or any one of the dozens of different WWII miniature rule sets. The same minis can be used with each of the different rule sets. Each rule set will differ slightly in the exact composition of your battle force, but it is simpler to add or subtract a unit or two than to build a whole new battle force from scratch.

While historical and modern miniatures are the easiest subset of miniature gaming in which to find generic models (after all a Panzer IV looks the same no matter who makes the model), there are also plenty of options with the other genres, particularly fantasy.

Another option is the non-collectable pre-painted miniatures that are coming on the market. AT-43, Battlefield Evolution, and Starship Troopers all have a line of pre-painted miniatures. Even if you don't like the game system that they come with, you can easily use the minis with any of the generic rulesets, such as 5150.

Even the collectable games can be a good source of cheap miniatures. You can play "Hordes of the Things" or any other generic fantasy rule set very easily with a handful of D&D minis. Many game stores sell singles and the commons are dirt cheap. You can often pick up 2 or 3 armies for what it costs to put together a single army with metal miniatures.

If you are trying to recruit players away from other games,such as Warhammer 40K, try something other than a skirmish game. Skirmish games are popular, but not the only option available. Air, sea, and space combat games also exist.

A benefit of moving away from skirmish games is that the models become easier to paint and there are often fewer of them. This is a real benefit for when trying to recruit players away from games that they have already invested lots of time and effort into making good looking battle forces. Tossing the paint on a few minis that need only simple paint jobs is a lot easier than building a new Roman legion from scratch.

Air combat game feature models that are easy to paint and cover the 3 main era: World War 1, World War 2, and Modern. Wings of Fire is an excellent game of WW2 air combat. Some games feature 3-D movement with the use of specially constructed stands.

Silent Death, Full Thrust, and Starmada are all excellent space combat games that can support diffent types of space ships. The old micro-machines are a good source of minis for these games and can be found easily on ebay.

My current passion is the Age of Fighting Sail. I'm putting together 1:1200 scale models of Tall Ships. With a little instruction, they are extremely easy to build, paint, and rig. I'm a lousy painter, but everyone at the local store is going nuts over my ships as they are so different from everything else. Langton Miniatures produces an excellent guide to painting and rigging the ships (rigging is very important and it makes the mini really stand out).

Mike Z

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Chad Ellis
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First, let me put up my bias alert -- I'm the publisher of the game I'm about to recommend, Battleground. I'll try to keep opinion to a low end and just talk about where Battleground does and doesn't fit with your criteria.

a)small battlegroups on either side

Depends if by this you mean a small number of pieces or skirmish vs. unit-based. Battleground is unit-based but a typical army will be 6-10 units (each represented by a single card).

b)low cost to enter into the game

Here Battleground does very well -- you can play with just one $15 (MSRP) starter deck, and by play with a starter I mean two 1500-point armies against each other or a very nice range of medium-sized armies of your own design.

If you went nuts and bought our entire product line (six complete armies, plus terrain pack and scenario book) you'd still max out at $200.


c)game not dependent on having 'big hitter' to win... you can also win by skill not just Rognor the Nigh Unkillable

Absolutely. There are varying point costs in Battleground but no unit is unkillable and it's very skill-intensive.

d)I'd like a game that allows a variety of war tactics (i'd list some but when I did it sounded so stupid that I figured you'd hopefully get the idea

Yes.

e)I like rolling dice... i might suck at rolling dice but I do like it.

Yes. In combat you roll to hit and then roll your hits to see if they deal damage. You even roll courage checks!

f)the ability to have your miniatures gain in skill and ability. So perhaps an RPG element.

No. There are some house rule suggestions for doing so, but at the moment a Battleground unit card is just what it is and doesn't change from battle to battle.

g)I suppose that I can dream that the company offering it will still support it a year down the road.

We pride ourselves on providing support. Battleground has been out for almost three years and is growing nicely. Check out our Yahoo Group (>500 members) or our website (www.yourmovegames.com) forums and hopefully you'll agree.

Regards,
Chad
 
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Nomadic Gamer
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"My standard advice is to find a local group that you like and play what they play. Miniature gaming is an expensive hobby, in both cash and time."

Possibly, but when you have the base set of figures, you don't need any more.

"Another benefit of finding a group is that they will teach you the rules. Most miniature games are poorly written and difficult to understand."
Not really.
Try
hmgs.org
links to many published rules sets. Most are well-written, but all approach con sims differently.
 
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Steffan O'Sullivan
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Re: opinions on best sci-fi/fantasy/war based miniatures gam
Hordes of the Things which someone suggested above is an excellent choice.

You probably mean land-based armies, but I'm going to go out on a limb and recommend Full Thrust as one of the best SF miniatures games I know. Spaceship combat, so no ground forces, but a great system.
 
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Randy Shipp
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Re: opinions on best sci-fi/fantasy/war based miniatures gam
sos1 wrote:
Hordes of the Things which someone suggested above is an excellent choice.

You probably mean land-based armies, but I'm going to go out on a limb and recommend Full Thrust as one of the best SF miniatures games I know. Spaceship combat, so no ground forces, but a great system.


Any tips on a source for the seemingly hard to find rules for Hordes of the Things or De Bellis Antiquitatis?

Randy...
 
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Mike zebrowski
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davedanger wrote:
"My standard advice is to find a local group that you like and play what they play. Miniature gaming is an expensive hobby, in both cash and time."

Possibly, but when you have the base set of figures, you don't need any more.


What do you mean by "base set"?

"Expensive" is a relative term. This is a board game site. Miniature games, when compared to board games, are expensive.

I just spent $60 on a 6mm Cold War Commander army, not including paint, and it is a small army. If I needed to build two armies, that would be $120 plus the cost of making terrain. Add in primer, paint, brushes, etc... and the rule book and you have a $200 investment for a two player game with limited variability in force composition.

How many Euros can a person buy (at MSPR) for $200?

Quote:
"Another benefit of finding a group is that they will teach you the rules. Most miniature games are poorly written and difficult to understand."
Not really.
Try
hmgs.org
links to many published rules sets. Most are well-written, but all approach con sims differently.


I've read through many rule sets and I stand by my statement. The majority of them are written with the experience player in mind. They might be good games, but if you don't already have a background in miniatures (and sometimes the time period that you are playing in), the material doesn't make sense.

Mike Z
 
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Steffan O'Sullivan
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Re: opinions on best sci-fi/fantasy/war based miniatures gam
rshipp wrote:
Any tips on a source for the seemingly hard to find rules for Hordes of the Things or De Bellis Antiquitatis?

Randy...

Hmm - http://www.btinternet.com/~alan.catherine/wargames/strong.ht... implies it's back in print ... I'd google it.
 
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Eli Smith
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Re: opinions on best sci-fi/fantasy/war based miniatures gam
I guess my main question back at you is:

Why do you want to get into a miniatures game?

Not that I'm trying to discourage you at all, but it is a keyt factor.

These games are expensive, and oft time consuming.

Do you want to participate in the hobby of miniature gaming. Many miniatrue wargames use units that are purchased unpainted and unassembled, part of the hobby is the assembly, modification and painting, a large part of the community is also based around these activities, if you have little to no interest in this aspect I would stay away from Confrontation (at least until 4th edition hits, rumors are it'll be prepainted), Warmachine, Hordes, Warhammer, etc..

"Expensive" is a relative term, by far the cheaped minis game I've seen is Battleground Fantasy Warfare, I recently picked up the terrain pack and with this minor addition ($15) it really ups the game onto a level with more expensive miniatures game. The game may use cards but it plays like a minis game, and it's cheap enough you can buy two armies so opponent hunting is easier. If you want to get into the "hobby-game" type minis game expect about $100 on minis and then another $30-$50 on painting/modelling supplies.

Prepainted minis games mostly fall into the "Collectible" realm (Clix games, D&D and Starwars minis, etc...), these can be relativley inexpensive if you do not get too into the collecting aspect. Rackham miniatures is doing a lot to introduce non-collectible pre-painted minis game to the market (AT-43 and the upcoming Confrontation v.4), thier prices are on par with unpainted pewter minis. I will say that many of the prepainted collectible minis are a bit lighter on the rules side of the equation, are played on a grid (as opposed to an open table with a measuring device), etc... this makes them feel a bit more like boardgames to me...

My current favorite miniatures games are Warmachine and Hordes both by Privateer Press, these games use the same system and can be played against one another, Entry cost is $50 for a starter set with basic rules, but the full rules will run you another $30 and you'll probably want to quickly fill out to a good 500 point list which will probably run you another $50-$80.

My second favorite is Infinity by Corvus Beli, this is a true skirmish game with ~ 10 models per side in average games, figures are a bit on the pricy side, and I'll admit most are kind of a pain to assemble, but they are gorgeous sculpts (once clean of flash). Starters for this game will run you $40 (six figs), which addition figures running around $9 for a troop fig or $30 for a large robot, the rulebook will set you back another $38, but the starter box does come with intro rules.
 
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Erik Nicely
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Jako wrote:
I'd agree with that. Necromunda and Mordheim are both great games, you can check out the Rulebooks online at the GW website.


Good suggestion these didn't come to mind when I read the fist post. Great games (ok I've only played Necromunda) for a small number of models, built in experience rules for the gangs.
 
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wayne r
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I recommend WarMachine by PrivateerPress.

It has elements of sci-fi and fantasy. The sci-fi elements are the Warjacks. Spells and the races round out the fantasy aspec.

This game plays well in any scale battles. The bigger the army, the longer play time which also depends on the scenario. A typical warband consists of a warcaster, his warjacks, a solo character or two, and 1 or 2 units. Point wise, around 500pts worth.

A batttle box is $40. The core rulebook is $20 although the battle box gives you the basics to start playing immediately (well, after assembling). A typical battle box consists of a warcaster (he's the central figure in the army) and several warjacks. The Warcaster is the general and one of the few who can control the warjacks. The warjacks are armored robots which are akin to tanks.

While, having a warcaster and warjacks are a huge advantage (they are the heavy hitters in the game), I've seen players win without including warjacks in their army. Warcasters are a central figure in the game so every army includes them.

There are a wide variety of tactics available to a player. Each faction favors a certain tactics over others. Furthermore, tactcs vary depending on which warcaster you build around. There are several warcasters for each faction allowing for even more variety of strategy to build around with.

Actions are resolved using d6. Most resolutions require rolling 2d6 but boosting and advantages can increase the number of dice rolled.

Many of the warcasters have evolved as the story has progressed. Many of them have an epic version. Furthermore, if playing a campaign, a warjack may take on a persona of the warcaster giving it an additional ability. This bonded warjack, as long, as it is being controlled by the warcaster to whom it is bonded to, may be given an extra action.

This is PrivateerPress' flagship product and is heavily supported by them. It is growing in popularity and has been in existence for several years. Support for it comes in the form of a magazine called No Quarter, and prize support for those participating in a league. There is a very lively website for the game that has discussions on painting, assembling models, building an army, and tactics players have used. Furthermore, people have posted their painted models on the website and there is even an official model contest.
 
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Ian Clark
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I'm gonna throw in another vote for Mordheim and Necromunda.

As stated before, the rulebooks are free and you can do as much or as little as you want in the way of terrain, from the cheap (some cereal boxes and oatmeal tubes) to the expensive (custom-built stuff bought on ebay etc).

Even though both are out of print, the minis are easy to find. Mordheim uses the warhammer minis for the most part (empire for the human warbands, skaven are skaven, etc) and Necromunda can use any of a number of sci-fi minis still being produced. You can also easily pick up entire gangs on ebay for a reasonable amount.

I think these games hit almost all of your criteria. The gangs/warbands are small (6-12 members each), the painting and modeling aspect is very fun, you get to roll lots of dice (including some special ones in Necromunda like sustained fire), and the roleplaying/gang advancement aspect of both games is outstanding as you watch each ganger grow and learn new skills or take lasting injuries.

Let us know what you go with!
 
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Trevor Gunter
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I'd recommend Warmachine/Hordes by Privateer Press. They're both compatible games set in the same setting.

Initial cost is low. You can play decent games using only a handful of figures per player. A 350 point game works involves about 3-5 (large) figures a side, while a 500 point game (the most common point level) works out to be about 20-30 models per army (at 500 points you can take infantry, which leads to the jump in model count).

Each army revolves around a central figure (a Warcaster in Warmachine, a Warlock in Hordes), and most games revolve around trying to kill your opponent's leader. These figures are all pretty unique and have distinct personalities and abilities which drastically affect the rest of your army. Warcasters tend to be fairly affordable miniatures (most are about $10, although there's a handful that are fairly expensive) and really dramatically change how your army plays with the change of that one figure. While they may sound like "heavy hitters" Warcasters more strongly affect how the rest of your army plays through the use of spells than doing the fighting directly.

One of the key elements of Warmachine is something called "Focus". Warcasters get a certain amount of focus each turn that they can distribute to their Warjacks (big mechanical golems) or keep for themselves. Focus can be used for a variety of things such as increasing accuracy or damage, buying additional attacks, running, charging, casting spells, etc. How you use your focus is a major part of the game's tactical play.

Hordes has a similar mechanic called "Fury", but rather than a Warlock giving Fury to their Warbeasts (the Hordes equivelant of Warjacks), the beasts instead generate fury themselves. Warlocks "leach" this Fury off of their beasts to use for themselves, but if a beast is left with any excess fury they have a chance of frenzying and going out of control.

Both games are extremely brutal. Even the toughest model can (and will) go down in one turn if you concentrate heavily on it.

One of the more interesting aspect of the games are that the stats for all of your units are on cards for easy reference. Models that can take more than one point of damage have checkboxes on the cards- you put the cards in sleeves and mark off damage with a wet/dry erase marker. Models such as Warjacks and Warbeasts actually lose abilities as they take damage- lose an arm on a Warjack and you can't use that weapon anymore.

All in all I find the game a lot of fun.
 
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Nicholas
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I definitely second Warmachine - it's a fantastic miniatures game. The boardgamegeek masses technically agree as well - it's the highest rated "true" miniatures game on this site.
 
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Robert Trifts
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Re: opinions on best sci-fi/fantasy/war based miniatures gam
Mike Zebrowski wrote:
My current passion is the Age of Fighting Sail. I'm putting together 1:1200 scale models of Tall Ships. With a little instruction, they are extremely easy to build, paint, and rig. I'm a lousy painter, but everyone at the local store is going nuts over my ships as they are so different from everything else. Langton Miniatures produces an excellent guide to painting and rigging the ships (rigging is very important and it makes the mini really stand out).


What rules? Link please?

(I love historical naval. I really do!) The impression I got from Langton's page was that it was rather complex to build and rig.

And these guys could really profit from a lot better web page with a lot better gallery.

You saying it's not that bad? I may have to try some of these!

(The section on rigging masts and sails and what you needed to buy was pretty confusing.)
 
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Mike zebrowski
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Steel_Wind wrote:

What rules? Link please?


I really like "Fire as She Bears!" available as a PDF from RPGNOW (http://www.rpgnow.com/product_info.php?products_id=3705)

Quote:
(I love historical naval. I really do!) The impression I got from Langton's page was that it was rather complex to build and rig.


I can't do as complex of a job as Langton's pages show. The trick is figuring out what looks good to you. I just started at the beginning of one of Langton's guides and kept going until it becaome too much of a hassle for me. The results look pretty good.

Two tricks that I learned:
1) Drill all of the holes for rigging before painting and assembling.
2) I use 32-gauge wire to make little loops for attachment points for some of the rigging.
 
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Robert Trifts
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Re: opinions on best sci-fi/fantasy/war based miniatures gam
Good enough then. I shall give it a go. I think Crossed Swords here in Toronto carries the line, if not there are a few places that mail order them.

I don't recall if I saw Langton historicals for sale on the dealer room floor at Gencon last year...

 
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